Raonic rolls to victory over U.S. qualifier after tiebreaker in St. Petersburg

Oct 14, 2020

Raonic rolls to victory over U.S. qualifier after tiebreaker in St. Petersburg

Ottawa (Canada) Oct 14: Canada's Milos Raonic beat American qualifier J.J. Wolf 7-6 (5), 6-1 in first-round play at the St. Petersburg Open on Tuesday in Russia.
The sixth-seeded Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., skipped the recently concluded French Open, which is played on clay - traditionally the weakest surface for the Canadian.
The St. Petersburg Open, an ATP Tour 500 event, is played on hard courts.
The hard-serving Raonic had 21 aces, while his 123rd-ranked opponent had none. Raonic saved all five break points he faced.
Raonic had to save five set points at 5-4 down in the first set, and then won the set in the tiebreak on his third set point.
Raonic won the St. Petersburg title in 2015 and another in Brisbane in January 2016. However, he is 0-7 in finals since then, most recently when he lost to Novak Djokovic for the Cincinnati title in August.
Raonic, ranked 21st in the world, will face world No. 52 Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan in the second round.
In other action, Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil lost 6-2, 6-4 to No. 3 seed Andrey Rublev in a first-round match.
Shapovalov begins play Wednesday
It was Rublev's first match since breaking into the top 10 on the back of strong showings at the U.S. Open and French Open.
The 22-year-old Russian had to rely on his second serve to beat Pospisil after landing just 46 per cent of first serves in the opening set. He plays either Ugo Humbert of France or Russian qualifier Pavel Kotov in the second round.
Rublev entered the top 10 of the ATP rankings Monday, helped by recent runs to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open and French Open, as well as winning the Hamburg title last month.
Second-seeded Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., will meet Viktor Troicki of Serbia in a first-round match on Wednesday.
In other matches Tuesday:
Fourth-seeded Karen Khachanov beat Australian James Duckworth 6-4, 6-4 to set up an all-Russian matchup in the second round with wild card Aslan Karatsev.
Seventh-seeded Borna Coric beat the Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 7-6 (2).
Source: CBC News